Greetings from the President Claudio Riedi
Dear Friends of the GABC,
some two decades ago, erstwhile GABC President Walt Loy told me about a promising lead he had to replace a departing Executive Director of the GABC.
“I know someone who would be perfect for the job, but I am not sure if we can get her. Her name is Monika Boehm.”

Well, Walt got her. Monika took over the reins of this organization in 1999, and has not let go since. She was a little green at first, and her German accent was thicker, but she always was a great leader. In her first Executive Director rodeo, she led the GABC through a period of unprecedented expansion. She had a way of enticing new members to join, and to keep them happy in the organization.

In time, Monika became a friend in addition to a co-worker. Monika, by then Mrs. Boehm-Fandino, eventually moved from executive to the boardroom, and became a pillar on the Board of Directors. She is a smart observer, and a great fundraiser. Most of all, Monika was always outspoken. She often challenged members, directors, and others with her pointed remarks, always intended to make the GABC a better and more successful organization. 

A few years ago, the GABC suffered a hang-over of the economic downturn between 2008 and 2010 caused a Memberschwund. A sort of medical condition where an organization atrophies. The organization closed down its free-standing office and went to a volunteer-executive-director with reduced duties (thank you Svenja for carrying us pro-bono). The reduced services caused reduced membership, and before we knew it, the organization was a shadow of its former self. Two years ago, Monika revolted. She agreed to take over again as Executive Director.

She took a sabbatical from the Board to slip into her former role, and we agreed to re-establish a permanent office and pay an executive director, all under the capable leadership of President Michael Claus. The Board decided to re-invigorate the organization, and to either succeed or go broke. The Monika move paid off. Within the last two years, she brought the organization back to full strength. Membership – our life-blood -- is at or beyond levels it was ten years ago. Monika established a protocol for interns, and cleverly managed her small but effective staff. With the help of motivated board volunteers, Monika revamped the GABC’s electronic media presence, branding, and member benefits program. I would not have agreed to be President without Monika’s presence as executive director.

With the GABC back in great shape, Monika is passing the baton again. Together her husband Fernando (another friend and valued bidder at our fundraiser-auctions), Monika has built a new business, LifeCann, our newest Trustee member. She will move back to the board, and her role as Executive Director will be filled as of March 10 by Leonie Valerius. Leonie, with the help of many, was able to get a trainee-visa to work the role of executive director for the next 18 months. I have seen her skills in action, and I am looking forward to her youthful enthusiasm in her new position.

I would like to thank Monika, both personally and as President of the GABC, for her two decades of dedicated service to the GABC. She deserves our gratitude for her countless contributions, and the GABC will forever be indebted to her. I intend to call on her for fundraising and member development as a member of the board – and expect that her LifeCann venture will contribute its wares for happy and peaceful Christmas parties in the future. Vielen Herzlichen Dank, Monika.  
Farewell Letter by
Monika Boehm-Fandino
Dear GABC Members and Friends,

I will be leaving the GABC as the Executive Director on March 8th of 2019. This brings an end, not only to 20 years of close collaboration with the GABC, but certainly closure of a chapter of my professional life that will remain embedded in my memory - and CV - as a wonderful but also challenging experience.

Two decades ago, I was approached by the late Walter Loy (at that time President of the GABC) that the GABC was looking for an Executive Director. I was very excited about the job opportunity as I had an eye on the GABC since I arrived to Miami a year earlier. My background is in TV Journalism and PR. Yet as a freelance just getting to know the US business world, it was literately a dream come true when I got the YES to serve the German community and be the Executive Director of the GABC. It gave me the feeling of not abandoning my German roots. A feeling some of you will relate to as well.

You might think now: “It does not feel like 20 years”. Well, the average age of a GABC Intern is 20+ years. Basically, when I started with the GABC our momentary interns were in their diapers. It is about time to step down and watch the great work and projects develop that lie ahead for the GABC. I wholeheartedly believe that the GABC volunteers and interns are an incredible group of young and bright individuals with a great future ahead. 

I started my journey at the GABC with a man who was a principal founder of the GABC. My mentor, dear friend and substitute father, Walter Loy. Walt walked me down the aisle at my wedding on behalf of my late father with his grace and dignity. His embrace and friendship I will always keep with me. Walter Loy’s charisma and work ethic defined not only the organization but also mine. 

During my first ten years at the GABC, I had the honor to serve Germans and representatives of companies doing business with Germany and the US as the first “to go to” contact to establish businesses in South Florida. 

It takes a village to keep the GABC truly alive. The GABC is driven by its members and Board of Directors. The members of the Board are the force of the GABC serving the organization voluntarily. Without their dedication the GABC would be non-existing. I thank them for their continuous support. And, of course Michael Claus, who was Walter Loy’s successor as President and Claudio Riedi, the current GABC President. I have worked with both in my position as the Executive Director and enjoyed being their skipper on the ship. They both left an impressive blueprint for the GABC.

In 2009, I decided to concentrate on my own company and stepped down as the Executive Director. I handed over the position to Miriam Moser, who was an excellent Executive Director. Meanwhile, I remained on the Board of Directors. Svenja Hammerstein followed Miriam’s lead and resigned a few years later due to personal reasons. Both did an outstanding job to keep the GABC alive.
Without an Executive Director the GABC cannot exist and I decided to rejoin the GABC again as the Executive Director in May of 2017. I only wanted to “help out” for no longer than a year… So much about this thought.

At this point I finally want to thank you, the GABC members, for your loyalty. The GABC would not be alive without your contribution and continuous support. 

Last but definitely not least, I would like to welcome and introduce Leonie Vallerius, your future contact for the GABC. Leonie has been a GABC volunteer for the past six months and has done an outstanding job. I have full confidence in her and hope you are welcoming Leonie to the GABC community and family.I am looking forward to her farewell note in 20 years from now.

Thank you for accompanying me on an extraordinary journey. You will always be in my heart … and yes in my CV as well. 

I will remain as a member of the GABC Board of Directors. The music starts playing now as it does at the Oscars at the end of thank you speeches, so I bow in front of you and say thank you!

Respectfully yours, Monika 
If you wish, you can reach me at
GABC Platinum Sponsor
GABC Trustee Member
March & April Highlights
Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau


Learn how the GMCVB keeps Tourism as Miami’s #1 Economic Engine, plus find out how your business may benefit from partnering with the GMCVB.

Collaboration with the GABC at the Breakfast Seminar: Scroll down for event details under "Upcoming Events".
Miami Open Tennis Tournament


The Miami Open presented by Itau's move to Hard Rock Stadium will bring a incredible fan experience!

The Miami Open Tennis Tournament welcomes the German American Business Chamber to an evening at Hard Rock Stadium! 
Collaboration with the GABC at the Special Miami Open Tennis Networking: Scroll down for event details under "Upcoming Events".
Florida International University


The "2019 Your European Career Starts Here" event will connect FIU students, alumni and young professionals with European companies, Chambers of Commerce and Consulates present in South Florida. Besides networking with those companies, students will receive information about possible career opportunities in Florida, the U.S., Europe and Latin America
Collaboration with the GABC at the Career Day: Scroll down for event details under "Upcoming Events".
Miami Country Day School


GATEway is Miami Country Day School’s summer academic program that provides current 9th - 11th graders with an academically stimulating learning experience abroad. 
Collaboration with the GABC at the Breakfast Seminar: Scroll down for event details under "Upcoming Events".
Germany in Class
The Annual Essay Contest is back!

This year we are celebrating Wunderbar Together, a year-long festival that showcases the German-American partnership with events all around the USA. The contest is open to students from Grades 3-12 and the deadline for entries is March 31, 2019. Teachers, note the earlier deadline! Due the the increasing popularity, we are moving it up this year. This will enable us to have the results before the end of the school year for everyone. It has been hard to do this in the past couple of years simply due to the number of entries and this will allow us to accomplish that.

For more detailed information information, visit the essay contest page on our blog at .  
US-Visa: Einschränkungen durch Shutdown und Absage der Visum-Interviewtermine in Berlin
Die US-Botschaft in Berlin (Foto © 4kclips/
Die bereits seit über einem Monat währende US-Haushaltssperre führt zu Verzögerungen bei der Visumvergabe. Dazu kommt, dass in der US-Botschaft aufgrund von Baumaßnahmen bis auf Weiteres keine Interviews durchgeführt werden können.
Die Weigerung der Demokraten im Repräsentantenhaus, dem von den Republikanern und Präsident Trump eingebrachten Haushaltsgesetz zuzustimmen, das Milliardeninvestitionen in den Bau einer Mauer zwischen den USA und Mexiko vorsieht, hat zum längsten sogenannten Government Shutdown in der amerikanischen Geschichte geführt, dessen Ende noch immer nicht abzusehen ist. Infolgedessen haben viele US-Behörden aufgrund ausbleibender Zahlungen ihre Arbeit eingestellt. Laut dem Einwanderungsserviceportal  The American Dream  hat dies auch direkte oder indirekte Auswirkungen auf Visumverfahren. 

Generell ist der größte Teil der in den Visumantragsprozess involvierten US-Behörden zwar nicht von der Haushaltssperre betroffen, da sie nicht aus Steuermitteln, sondern durch Gebühren finanziert werden beziehungsweise zur Gewährleistung der öffentlichen Sicherheit keiner Haushaltssperre unterliegen. Aus diesem Grund wirkt sich die Blockade in Washington weder unmittelbar auf die Arbeit der US-Auslandsvertretungen noch auf die der Einwanderungsbehörde USCIS aus. Nach Aussage von The American Dream können sich aber gleichwohl zeitliche Verzögerungen bei der Bearbeitung von Visumanträgen ergeben. Da die Behörden angewiesen sind, für die Dauer der Haushaltssperre ihre Kosten möglichst geringzuhalten, kann es vor allem in den Konsulaten aufgrund eines geringeren Personaleinsatzes zu längeren Bearbeitungszeiten kommen; dasselbe gilt für das Angebot an Interviewterminen. 

Unmittelbar vom Shutdown betroffen sind allerdings das Investorenvisum EB-5, das "Conrad 30 Waiver Program" für Mediziner, die mit einem J-1-Visum an einem Austauschprogramm teilnehmen wollen, das EB-4-Visum für Einwanderer spezieller Kategorien wie etwa Mitarbeiter religiöser Organisationen sowie das sogenannte "E-Verify Program", ein vom USCIS angebotener Onlineservice für US-Firmen, mit dem diese eruieren können, ob künftige Mitarbeiter über eine Arbeitserlaubnis in den USA verfügen. Indirekte Auswirkungen hat die Haushaltssperre auf die Ausstellung der Arbeitsvisa H-1B und H-2B sowie der durch den Arbeitgeber beantragten Greencard, da in diesen Fällen das vom Shutdown betroffene Arbeitsministerium in das Visumverfahren involviert ist. Nach Angaben von The American Dream werden die betreffenden Anträge derzeit zwar noch regulär bearbeitet, je länger die Haushaltssperre anhalte, desto größer sei aber die Wahrscheinlichkeit, dass sich die Visumverfahren erheblich verzögerten. 

Auch Interviewtermine im Rahmen des Global-Entry-Verfahrens, das es US-Besuchern ermöglicht, durch die Vorabbestätigung eines von ihnen ausgehenden nur geringen Sicherheitsrisikos bei der Einreise vom Zoll schneller abgefertigt zu werden, wurden infolge des Shutdowns abgesagt. Bei der Ausstellung der Sozialversicherungsnummer kommt es ebenfalls zu Verzögerungen. 

Nichts mit dem Government Shutdown zu tun hat dagegen die Absage aller Termine für Visum-Interviews in der Berliner US-Botschaft. Gemäß den Informationen von  The American Dream  können aufgrund unvorhergesehener Baumaßnahmen in absehbarer Zeit dort keine Interviews durchgeführt werden. Wer in nächster Zeit in die USA reisen will und dafür ein Visum benötigt, ist daher gezwungen, sein Interview im US-Konsulat in München oder Frankfurt am Main zu absolvieren.
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Welcome Our Trustee Member!
Miami Country Day School

Mission of Miami Country Day School
Miami Country Day School is a college preparatory learning community committed to educating the whole child. Through the core values of honor, respect, wisdom and compassion, we prepare students to be lifelong learners. We inspire our children to develop their intellectual, physical, aesthetic, social, emotional and spiritual potentials by valuing every student every day.
Core Values of Miami Country Day School
At Miami Country Day School we prepare children for college and for life by embracing four core values: honor, respect, wisdom and compassion. Students, faculty, and parents are encouraged to live by a set of core values and to act as models for action and behavior.
GATEway Mission
Miami Country Day School supports the Whole Child in its quest to become a global citizen. To that end, GATEway, or  Global Access To Education , offers programs that support, enhance, and develop our students’ views of the world, its diverse cultures, and its people. Through academic and cultural immersion programs, we broaden our students’ perspectives of life beyond our borders in order to foster a mutual understanding and appreciation among all individuals, both home and abroad.

Glen Turf
Miami Country Day School

Phone: (305) 779-7243
Welcome Our New Individual Members!
Andreas Ehlebracht

Executive Director at UBS Private Bank and Financial Advisor at UBS Financial Services Inc.
Andreas Ehlebracht joined UBS in June, 2006 when the firm acquired Dresdner Bank Latinamerika's private bank assets. He is currently advising high net worth clients in Central America from UBS AG's Miami Branch. At Dresdner, he successfully headed the Private Bank Adviser Team as Head of Marketing.
After functions in Germany , Panama and Mexico he joined Dresdner's Miami Branch in August, 1991 building and devolving the team and solutions for the private banking customer base .
For more than 25 years Andreas has advised families. He is a team player who has developed and coached many professionals along the way,
advancing their personal success and adding to the business' overall results.
Andreas earned an academic degree at University of Hamburg ,Germany, " Diplom – Kaufmann "
In Miami , he passed the CFP exam in 2006 and from STEP, he earned the TEP accreditation.

He is licensed with the series 7,66 and 24.

Andreas Ehlebracht, CFP
Tel : 305-960-3106
Cel : 786-208-7450

Executive Director
UBS AG Miami Branch 
UBS Financial Services Inc. 
701 Brickell Avenue , Suite 3250
Kim Stollsteimer

Kim Stollsteimer is 22 years old. Born and raised in Germany, she comes from a small village close to Stuttgart.
Currently pursuing a study abroad of 4 months in the U.S., she wants to take a sniff of sea air and enjoy the city lights of Miami. In Germany, she is doing an integrated degree program in Public Administration of which she hopes to gain even more skills in Miami. Kim's work
experience includes aspects, such as cultural topics and business development which she has gained firsthand in the town hall of Stuttgart. Kim is a very responsible and ambitious person. She is cheerful and always smiling. She truly looks forward to putting her great attitude and
organizational skills to good use as she embarks on her journey in Miami.

David Kolan

David Kolan has more than 30 years of experience providing audit, attest and business consulting services to domestic and international companies, partnerships and entrepreneurs. During his career he has assisted hundreds of companies in the development of strategic plans, corporate reorganizations, debt and equity financing, mergers and acquisitions, due diligence and succession planning.

David Kolan is a CPA and Director with Berkowitz Pollack Brant, a regional certified public accounting firm with offices in South Florida and New York City. As the Director-in-Charge of the Audit Department and Co-Director of the firms International Practice Group, he provide accounting, tax and business consulting services to domestic and foreign companies, family offices and private individuals. 

 David E. Kolan
Direct: 954-712-7027
Office: 305-379-7000
Mobile: 614-315-3664

Director-in-Charge of Audit and Attest Services
Berkowitz Pollack Brant Advisors and Accountants
515 E. Las Olas Boulevard, 15th Floor,
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301-2281 
René R. Haag
René R. Haag worked in the financial services industry since 2001, both in Switzerland and the United States and joined Robert W. Baird in 2018.
He holds the Certified International Wealth Manager (CIWM®) designation. 

After gaining more than a decade of experience in the wealth management business both in Europe and the United States, he is looking forward to helping successful individuals and business owners to reach their financial goals. 
Ren é Haag is passionate about growing sound relationships and bringing value to his clients that go beyond the financial aspects of their lives. 
René R. Haag holds a bachelor’s degree in Business & Administration from University of Applied Sciences, Turku, Finland and a Master’s Degree in Political Science from University of Zurich, Switzerland. 
Originally from Switzerland, he currently live in the beautiful Naples area, Florida, with his wife Marion and 10 year old son Emil. He s peaks German, French and Italian.

René R. Haag
Office 239-566-4405
Toll Free 800 925-1112 
Mobile 239-309-4081

Financial Advisor 
The MacFarlane Group
5811 Pelican Bay Boulevard, Suite 102,
Naples, FL 34108-2798
Martina Abosi
Martina Abosi was born in Bonn, Germany. Before coming to Miami she lived in Munich where she raised her two children. In 2000 Martina moved to the Bahamas and enjoyed the Bahamian life for eighteen years until she opened the Skincare Spa in South Beach and is now the business owner of MaJu International, LLC in Miami. 
She has 40 years professional experience in skincare and got her education in Germany.

Martina Abosi
Phone: 7863080781

MaJU International,L.L.C.
535 Jefferson Avenue,
Miami Beach, Florida 33139
Welcome Our New Student Member!
Verena Pernsteiner

Verena has professional experience in Project and Process Management positions, gained in several strategic and operational projects in the Financial Service and Consulting Industry. While doing her Master’s in Management of EU Projects (Austria), she worked as a Junior Consultant and helped private companies to receive funding for their investment ideas from European grant programs.

Before Verena moved to Miami in Oct '18, she worked as a Process Manager for an insurance corporation in Vienna, Austria. Within two years she had implemented a process management system, created a new end-to-end process map and developed a new process management strategy for over 20 departments. In addition, she was one of the subproject leaders of an internal large-scale project and responsible for managing a seven person cross-functional team to adapt future work flows in the company. Currently she is gaining international work experience as a J-1 Trainee at the European Union Center of Excellence at Florida International University, where she is organizing a European Career Fair in March '19. Click here for her LinkedIn Profile .

She would like you to contact her and register for the European Career Fair where also the GABC will participate! Participation for businesses is 100% for free!

Verena Pernsteiner, MA
Miami, Florida
Phone: +1 786-212-9317
LinkedIn: Verena Pernsteiner
Join the GABC Family
Announcing Our GABC Benefits Program

Dear GABC members, 

We are happy to announce our new and updated GABC benefits for members!

What is the benefits program about? 
All companies/natural persons with products and/or services can offer a discount or any other kind of benefit to GABC members. It would be a non-binding agreement between the GABC and the participating companies, in which they can freely participate, and terms and conditions would be done under their own rules and regulations.

What is the duration of the program? 
The program aims to be permanent in the sense of providing general benefits to all members. However, companies will commit in a freely way and can withdraw from the program on a monthly basis.

We are looking forward to hearing from you and the benefits you’ll be willing to offer to our members. With this we can start creating the benefit list to launch the program. Lastly, we understand all companies are focused on different fields and of course we know all of us can't allow benefits of the same dimension, and this is why we are open to listen and discuss about it. 
Should you have any questions or comments, please don't hesitate to reach out back to us. 

Kind regards, 
The GABC Team 

German American Chamber of Commerce

The Beacon Council
German International Parents Association
German American Social Club
Our Upcoming Events!

Breakfast Seminar - Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau

March 19th, 2019 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM 

Come and join us at
 701 Brickell Ave # 2700, Miami, FL 33131

Career Day FIU

March 29, 2018
9:30AM- 2:00PM
11200 S.W. 8th Street 
Miami, Florida 33199

Your European career start here at FIU!
Come join us as the GABC networks with European companies in South Florida as well as young professionals and Florida International University students.

You can also contact Verena Pernsteiner, our new Student Member for more information or registration.

EU Event - Meet our Experts
Location and Date TBA
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Breakfast Seminar - Miami Country Day School

April 3, 2019, 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM

Miami Country Day
601 NE 107th St, Miami, FL 33161
Mark Your Calendars
Stammtisch at Sogol Decor
January 9, 2019

GABC members and friends had a delightful time at the Stamtisch at Sogol Decor. Fantastic location on Miami Beach with great food!
EU Business Networking Event
at Ironside Kitchen Pizza & Coffee Company
February 7, 2019
The EU networking event was a great success and we hope you enjoyed your time with us as much as we did with you!
Stammtisch at Phuc Yea
February 13, 2019
Wonderful time with our GABC members and friends at the Phuc Yea Restaurant. Great conversations and amazing Food!
Me Too Breakfast Seminar at Kelley Kronenberg
February 21, 2019
We enjoyed a delicious breakfast at the Kelley Kronenberg office and listened to Maritza I. Gomez, who talked about the situation one year after the #Metoo movement.
Career Opportunities
The GABC offers job postings and internship assistance.

Companies and employers can publish their vacancies on our Facebook page, as well as in our upcoming newsletters.

For more information please contact the GABC by email: or telephone 305-371-4282.
Members: free
Job Seekers - $50 per post
Companies and Employers - $100 per post

GABC is currently looking for new interns. The internship at the GABC office in Miami is an opportunity to learn about the German business in Miami and contribute to the daily activities of the GABC and to plan and develop events and new strategies.

Publish Your Advertisement in our Newsletter
If you are interested in publishing an advertising in the next GABC newsletter, please contact us at or call us at 305-371-4282.


Price per section is:

$ 75 for business card size (approx. 5x9 cm / 2x3.5 inch)

$ 125 for third page ad (approx. 10x18 cm / 4x7 inch)

$ 135 for half page ad (approx. 14x21 cm / 5.5x8 inch)

$ 175 for 1 full page ad

Run ad for 2 Newsletters – receive 10% discount on second ads

Run ad for 3 Newsletters – receive 15% discount on second and third ads 

Price per section is:

$ 125 for business card size (approx. 5x9 cm / 2x3.5 inch)

$ 150 for third page ad (approx. 10x18 cm / 4x7 inch)

$ 175 for half page ad (approx. 14x21 cm / 5.5x8 inch)

$ 215 for 1 full page ad

Run ad for 2 Newsletters – receive 10% discount on second ad

Run ad for 3 Newsletters – receive 15% discount on second and third ad 
Stay Connected with the GABC

Dear GABC members and friends, 
We are excited to announce we are increasing our presence on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. We will come back with more stories and events for your joy!
We would love to connect with you and get your feedback.

Board of Directors 2018
Claudio Riedi

Lehtinen Schultz, PLLC
Attorney at Law
Lydia Harley
Vice- President

Kelley Kroneberg
Attorney at Law
Timo A. Becker, J.D.

Baur, Klein & Becker
 Attorney at Law
Alexandra C. Peters

Senior Global Real Estate Advisor 
ONE Sotheby’s International Realty
Dr. Volker Anding

Ambassador (ret.)
International Consultant
Monika Böhm-Fandiño
Director Marketing + PR

Viva Action
TV Productions, Print, PR
Alexander Evans

Certified Public Accountant
Nickel Goeseke

Svenja Hammerstein

Real Estate Agent
Carsten Jacobi

Navigo Corp., Managing Director
Peter Jacobs

Company Representative
Miriam Moser

Marketing Director VAPIANO US
Christian Riehl

TV Productions
Michael Seraphin

Max Fields
Managing Director
Michael Claus

Founding Member of the GABC President Emeritus and Honorary Director of the Board
The GABC is a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization founded by local business men and women in Miami. For over 30 years, the organization has promoted business and trade between Germany and the US, particularly in South Florida. The objective of the GABC is to support commercial and personal relations between its members and to promote economic, social and cultural relations between the USA and Germany.

The GABC promotes communication between companies, individuals, organizations and associations that share the same interests.
Monika Böhm-Fandiño

Director PR + Marketing
Kim Stollsteimer

Leonie Vallerius

Nicole Jara

German American Business Chamber of South Florida
100 N Biscayne Blvd | Suite 2100 | Miami, FL 33132